Microsoft Video: Your Digital Lifestyle ("Girl From Mars")


This video has been shown at internal Microsoft events a few times. It always draws a great response from the audience, followed by internal email aliases flooded for days with requests for a link or high bandwidth version. I finally found it on MSN Soapbox and YouTube (thanks to whoever posted it there). It shows a whole bunch of Microsoft consumer technologies working together in this average guy’s “digital lifestyle”. Most Microsoft products featured in this video, including Windows Mobile, Zune, XBOX 360, and Windows Media Center fall under the Entertainment & Devices (E&D) division, arguably the best division to work at within Microsoft (biased personal opinion). Come work here!

The soundtrack in this video is very catchy too, and I’ve seen just as many requests from people asking about the song and band. The song is called “Girl From Mars”, and it is covered by a band named Magneta Lane. I’m not sure but they might have done some private/promotional work for Microsoft because I can’t find the track associated with Magneta Lane anywhere else. The original song was released in 1995 by a band named Ash from their album named “1977”. Watch the original Ash version on YouTube or check out the Wikipedia entry if you like the song.

-Mel Sampat

(update) p.s. I don’t know where the green jacket is from. Banana Republic maybe?

Comments (18)

  1. Luke says:

    The 70s version of the song is just as good 🙂 And, you can grab it for free from the Zune Marketplace using your ZunePass!

  2. The album the song is from is called 1977, it’s not from 1977! It was released in the mid-90s.

  3. Galt says:

    Great commercial.  I’m a huge fan of the Media Center + 360 integration (if marketed it could be huge, yet so few of PC owners are even aware their PC & 360 can do this), and a big fan of Windows Mobile – but there are still ridiculous gaps in integration of MS services.  

    The XBL integration with Windows Mobile (as Live Anywhere) was shown in early demo form almost 2 years ago and now recently only a Zune XBL mobile integration is being discussed.  XBL Anywhere integration with Windows Mobile devices (most of which are internet connected at all times) would have been a killer app that would have driven cross-platform adoption like crazy – where is it?

    The content in the XBL Video Marketplace service can’t be shared with (transcoded to) Zunes or Windows Mobile devices – with content availability being such a key driver of platform adoption, and Apple providing content sharing between iTunes, iPod/iPhone, and Apple TV, MS has missed another opportunity to gain cross-platform market share.

    It seems the walls are coming down and some of this is slowly changing – but will it happen soon enough?

  4. alpha says:

    Unfortunate, I don’t think this kind of life is attractive.  The song is good though.

  5. zebrum says:

    Hahaha Ash from the 70’s, good one!

    P.s. That cover sucks, they tried to change the timing of the words but it just doesn’t work at all.

  6. ajwalker at live dot com says:

    Geez, what a dweeb.

    Here’s some free advice from a committed Microsoft fanboy. And yes, this comment is going to be long so get over it or don’t bother reading.

    I love Windows products as much as the next person owning everything Microsoft makes with the exception of a Zune and XBox 360. But this whole approach is just plain stupid.

    A nerd, working in a cubicle, alone, after every one else with a life has already gone to live that life, not even driving a car since it won’t start. Then, incredibly, he just so happens to have a fold-away bike in the back of his station wagon. Which he then rides through L.A., meets another loser in a dead end job, doesn’t get her phone number but instead asks her to "squirt" him a song to his Zune.

    Then, goes to an all night party with other supposedly hip 20 somethings to play …. Guitar Hero?!?!?!?

    Then, falls asleep in all of his clothes on the coach holding his helmet like a Teddy Bear?!?!?

    Uhm, again, I love Microsoft. I have a Windows desktop, Tablet PC, a Windows Mobile phone, and I use all of the Live services, none of which I would ever want to do without to prove to you my "fanboyhood". I don’t own a single thing from Apple and don’t intend to, I don’t even have Quicktime and that’s free!

    But if this is the best your advertising company can come up with, it’s time for a new ad agency. And the Microsoft executive who approved this needs to go back to writing code.

    (BTW, I turned off the sound since I am no where near as in "love" with that song as others have commented.)

    Microsoft needs to start reaching for sophistication, not geekiness. Apple’s advertising oozes "cool", not starring some schlep working in a cubicle driving a beat up car that won’t even start.

    RIM is steering clear of the hip and incredibly fickle "in crowd" by concentrating on your own Windows Mobile slogan "Do More" only they are substituting Blackberrys in the place of Windows Mobile and it is working like gang busters.

    The reason it is catching on with the "hip" crowd? Because they want to be seen as their life having some meaning, some purpose besides endless parties and vapid self-absorption. So they are adopting Blackberrys to look more "important."

    Even Apple understands people want their tech to help them get more done, they just present it in a very appealing way.

    It’s like you guys live in an Ivory Tower and don’t ever turn on a tv. This isn’t going to sell Microsoft products or increase your base in the areas you are struggling: Zune, Windows Mobile and XBox 360.

    Windows Mobile is an incredibly rich opportunity that you are blowing.

    The next OS race is on cell phones, not "in the clouds" or "ad search". That’s the next platform to be won by Microsoft.

    You guys need to be doing everything in your power to make Windows Mobile the preferred OS on mobile devices which means fixing what needs to be fixed yesterday.

    Mobile IE? Being killed by Apple and the new slate of Mobile web browsers. (See, there’s this thing called the "real internet")

    Mobile Outlook? Ugh, a slew of third party apps continually show you what should have been done out of the box with that feature a long time ago.

    Mobile Media Player, being killed by other apps because of it’s lack of basic functionality already on the desktop. If nothing else, MMP should be just like MP on the desktop. (Creating Playlist anyone?)

    And, as much as you hate to hear it, your ARE going to have to make a phone. If for no other reason than to show how it’s supposed to be done so people stop mucking around in Win Mo to suite their own whim and fancy.

    The Zune? better advertising.

    No, I will probably never own one because I use my Windows Mobile device as my MP3 player. Hook up some headphones, a third party app and I am very good to go. That’s because I know how adaptable Windows Mobile is. Most people don’t. The people I know who have a Zune, love it so you make a good product, just sell it better.

    Xbox 360, nothing wrong with it except your continued PR problems with the Red Ring of Death. A 16% failure rate? And that’s acceptable? 16 people out of 100 have experienced that problem and you can bet those 16 are very vocal and have told at least another 16 people each not to bother.

    I’m rooting for you Microsoft, just give me something to root for besides hopelessly missed opportunities, dumb mistakes and stupid ads like these.

    It’s a good thing it is kept internal, don’t ever embarrass yourselves by letting other people see it.

  7. MSDNArchive says:


    Thanks for taking the time to write the long response! I think you’re addressing 3 different things in your post:

    1. You can’t relate to the scenarios in this video

    2. You wish our products would work better together

    3. Quality/Warranty issues with our products.

    Let me try and briefly respond to all 3.

    1. This isn’t a commercial made for TV. This is one of hundreds of concept videos we make to illustrate "day in the life of" or a vision of how we expect things to work. We have plenty of other buttoned down corporate friendly, serious commercials that perhaps you can relate to better.

    2. Your point is well taken. Vista, Zune, XBOX, Windows Mobile – ideally they should all work beautifully together. We’re working on improving it. Sometimes it takes a little time to get the strategy right, and iron out little things like DRM, backwards compatibility, industry partnerships etc. Thanks for your patience and loyalty.

    3. I can’t speak for the XBOX team’s quality issues, but I’m glad they did the right thing by extending the warranty. The ring of death thing was unfortunate, and hopefully we’ve improved our hardware design and manufacture processes because of it.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

    -Mel Sampat

  8. I have seen this video showed at Microsoft events but I don’t think it’s been available for public viewing

  9. Jody commons says:

    I loved the music and the video. I am a late boomer and am still learning the ropes. I know my son and daughter are totally advanced in all this knowledge. I just don’t understand the time involved when all this communication is going on. Doesn’t anyone ever just stop and smell the roses? Or is that another new tech coming on soon. Keep up the good work microsft!!  Another great aspect of M/S and the Tech World is the availability for the Deaf and hard of hearing World. you should find more avenues to cater to them cc the videos etc.    

  10. ajwalker at live dot com says:


    Thanks for responding.

    I do realize this is only for internal consumption at Microsoft. I was simply pointing out NOT to think of releasing anything like this for the general public.

    ANd whereas I would like to have kept my response to Windows Mobile, the video touched on many Microsoft products which is why I ended up talking about three of them.

    I really like Windows Mobile and really hope everyone at Microsoft is working fast and furious to make it better. I do, however, wish it wasn’t continually left behind. I don’t think the powers that be are aware of the potential you have with Windows Mobile beyond corporate speak. And I know the company as a whole is *distracted* with other things.

    But, somebody has got to say the real battle is going to be on cell phones in the near future. That will be how many be access these "in the clouds" applications.

    Microsoft, as a company, should have it’s utmost atttention focused on making sure WHATEVER people do on their mobile device, it should be done through Windows Mobile.

    And that means making it better to answer the critics and make it a more compelling choice.

    I’m already a Windows Mobile fan, I just wanted to share some of the things I’ve been thinking and noticing from an actual end user perspective that maybe, just maybe, someone will pay attention.

  11. TDMPRO2K says:

    OK, Where can I get this song from?

  12. UncleGadget says:

    Ash is a great Irish band, probaly the best I’ve ever seen live. 1977 was their first record, and I always guessed that it referred to the year most of them were born 😉

  13. Chester says:

    The video was entertaining, I very much like it, and the green sweater rocks. Long live Microsoft.

  14. GreatBallsOfCheese says:

    Awesome video! Anyone know where I can get the background track?

  15. favian says:

    i see his ensemble is taking cues from mr rogers line of clothing available at kmart.

  16. Patrick says:

    I like it 🙂 – the song, the backstory, all that tech…even the fold out bike! I’m not sure if it makes me want to buy an X-box or half the other things there (I don’t think that’s what it was meant to do), but I like seeing how all that stuff can be a part of someone’s life. Pretty cool.

  17. Mike says:

    ajwalker – You’ve been very judgemental with the whole "geekiness" references. You can’t relate to any of the characters in this commercial and therefore you frown upon it? That’s the way media works. Often if people can’t relate, they don’t enjoy. If you don’t like it, why moan about it and take, what probably took you a good hour or so, to write a huge article full of complaints. I doubt you could come up with something like that advert.

    Music is good and I think it goes pretty well with the video. It’s a decent tune that will on average make a viewer come back for at least a second viewing. I’ve shown a few of my friends after a friend of mine showed it to me. It’s not the best video in the world, afterall – it’s just a series of advertisements for different products; but the way it’s been created in a unique manner is pretty good. I think a lot of people (mainly home users) don’t realise how much more Microsoft do other than Windows OS and possibly mobile…this advert/commercial does highlight everything well in that aspect.

    Since I studied Media and got high qualifications for it, I think I’ve looked at this video differently to others and I still like it.

  18. Dale says:

    Im addicted to this video, I cant stop listening to it, awesome…